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"I am the bread of life. No one who comes to me will ever be hungry again. Those who believe in me will never thirst." AMEN!!!

Yes, Lord, I BELIEVE!!!

As Saul was talking about himself today being from the tribe of Benjamin, I remembered that the Apostle Paul was also from the tribe of Benjamin (Phil 3:5). Saul of the OT, like Saul of Tarsus, was not looking for God when the Spirit of God found him in an incredible life-altering way. Interesting parallel.

Family is not at all a personal issue.Samuel by not restraining his sons gave Israel an excuse to seek for a king.God's reign was a lot better than any King's,he provided for them,protected them and Israel became famous for it's conquests because of God.Yet in their desire to be like the world,they didn't care what the costs were.There's a saying that goes"the world's becoming churchy and the church worldly".Many christians today seek other means other than the word as their standard.Not wanting to stand out they lower their standards without counting the costs to be like everyone else.Though the cry for revival is everywhere,many refuse to see that we need to be consecrated,different from the world to truly be light.
Saul shows great concern for his father;as days pass he worries that his father may forget about the donkeys and worry about his safety,he is ready to give the last thing they have left (a quater of a shekel of silver)to find out what happened to his father's property...pretty good qualities.When he is told by Samuel that he's chosen to be King,he thinks he isn't worthy even though his father was said to be"a man of standing".Saul was seemed to be a godly man before his coronation.
The crowd,the jews were not looking to know the will of God but what they could get from a man that does miracles.They attributed the manna in the desert to Moses,not God and now they wanted signs from Jesus probably for their gain....they didn't want to hear his teaching.Did they really want "this bread"as they put it or did they just say what they thought Jesus needed to hear to begin his miracles.I think it's good to always keep in mind that God knows our hearts,maybe better than we do.Sometimes a revelation of out true state of heart is what we need to be asking for...

1 Samuel 8:1-9:27

Israel is desiring a king because of there disunity, because they want to be like the other nations, because they want a central government, they want someone to uphold the laws. Funny thing if one is following the Laws of God, one wouldn’t need to have someone enforce the laws. Laws are written for those that break the law not for those who uphold the law in their hearts. If one’s heart is right then one’s actions are right.

Because I have read the Book of Samuel multiple times, I know how the story ends but I want everyone to consider Saul’s name, it’s meaning in Hebrew:

שׁאוּל
shâ'ûl
shaw-ool'
Passive participle of H7592; asked;

And the root word the name Saul was taken from:

shaw-al', shaw-ale'
A primitive root; to inquire; by implication to request; by extension to demand:

Israel was about to get that what she demanded. Be careful what you ask for you might get it. And when you accept the cost without.

The story of Saul and some other passages in the Bible have led me to conclude, outside of God and His Christ; we get the leadership we deserve.

More Thoughts on Today's Readings:

One of the common thread in both of today’s reading, Old and New is seen in I Samuel 9:20 and Jesus’ words to the crowd looking for bread and fish, John 6:26.

Don't be concerned about the donkeys that you lost three days ago, for they have been found. Whom does all Israel desire? Is it not you, and all your father's family?"
(1 Samuel 9:20 NET.)

AND

Jesus replied, "I tell you the solemn truth, you are looking for me not because you saw miraculous signs, but because you ate all the loaves of bread you wanted. (John 6:26 NET.)

Saul was the answer to the hope and dreams of Israel, but was Israel operating out of God’s desire? Just because you have a lot of people desiring you, calling for you doesn’t mean that your fulfilling their hopes and desires they way they want you to is your true purpose. Just because you have the crowd carrying you along doesn’t mean the crowd will take you where you want to go, should go. Good isn’t good unless it’s righteous.

Jesus came to this earth to feed those that were spiritually starving and He knew His purpose. He wasn’t waylaid by the desires of the crowd. They wanted to be fed so their stomachs were full; Jesus wanted their spirits feed, that was the assignment his father gave Him and that was what He purposed in His heart to do.

Our God given assignments should never be diverted and perverted by the voices of the crowd.

John 6
[late post from yesterday]

Feeding of five thousand

Greater than the last miracles:

Water into wine for a wedding gathering, healings for individuals - witnessed by household and the other by temple occupants.

This miracle was in front of 5,000 - 20,000 people.

Previous miracles dealt with existing constraints - only a certain number of water jars, and illness in an individual.

This miracle had no constraints the food would go out to as many as would receive it - whether that was 20,000 or a million. And there would still be food (grace) left over.

Allusion to Moses is strong in this chapter, and will be expounded on later by Jesus. Moses prayed and manna came down from heaven. Jesus came down from heaven, prayed, and food was available to the people. The miracle sets up Jesus' next discourse on the "bread of life". Remember Bethlehem was translated : "House of Bread".

John 6

[Late post from yesterday]

Walking on Water

A 13 months ago a professor at F.S.U. just "threw out there" that the region had experianced freezing temperatures and ice may have been formed on top of the water.

Professor Nof said: "We leave to others the question of whether or not our research explains the biblical account."

And the media ran with it in the usual run-up to Easter that has become so common of late.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12152740/

Must have been cold on the mount when people were being fed :) Heck of a cold front that would freeze a stream of fresh water 3 and a half miles out to the boat, so that not only Jesus walked on it, but Peter as well. Pretty neat that the boat just happened to be at the end of the fresh water ice. Course Peter must have hit a thin patch of ice when he sunk.

[SIGH!]

Man, particularly non-believers, can not rest until they find an explanation of things that make sense to them. "That works for them" (How many times do we hear that phrase?)
[referring to media here and not so much the professor]

Random notes on Walking on Water:

They were terrified when they saw Jesus walking on water. Why? Up to now they had been present at other miracles and being comfortable in presence of Jesus had seen them unfold. This miracle came out of the blue and was directed at them.

How many times in Bible did angels suddenly appear and tell people "be not afraid". The supernatural scares people when suddenly confronted with it with no warning or warm convivial build-up (just my opinion).

Jesus for the second time that I recall in John uses "ego eimi" or the "I am" phrase, and like the angels tells the disciples to not be afraid.

The disciples willingly take him in - the same Greek word as in John 1:12 - Gk. "lambano": receive him. And immediately the boat reached shore.

Pretty neat capsule picture for "salvation". Life in sin is a nasty storm, but if you believe in him and "take Him in" you will straightaway reach your destination. Does not mean the storms will subside or life will get all smooth and happy.

1 Samuel 5-7:17

[Late post from yesterday's readings]

Israel Turns Back to the Lord

In Chapter 7 - as Samuel instructed, Israel threw away their false idols. Like back in judges - people turned to God and acknowledged their sin. they acknowledged God's chosen one for leadership, Samuel, and sacrifices were conducted.

When their hearts were right towards the Lord - God delivered them from the Philistines and their was a time of peace.
======================================================
Is it any different for a believer today?

When we sin and do not go to God - and keep sinning for a period of time. God seems silent - out of our lives. He is still active in our lives, but we do not feel His prescence.

How is this rectified? Like Israel we are to throw out our false idols (sins) - literally or figuratively. Acknowledge we have sinned, and go to our mediator - Jesus Christ and offer prayers to God for forgiveness and restoration of "fellowship".

The result: Just as Israel is God's "chosen people" - we are, as believers, God's "chosen people". We will be forgiven (not of sins as that happened on the cross) but of "grieving God" and restored in fellowship.

God will then become closer to us, work in our lives, and we will be at peace for a time (until the next bout of sinning).

The goal - for sinning to occur less and less frequently as we mature as Christinas in the image of Christ.

1Samuel 8-9

All the "heroes" of the Old Testament are flawed. Samuel is a Godly man, and we have seen no real sin on his part up to now.

However, here Samuel appoints his sons as judges. God raises up judges - nowhere has it been said that a judge was to pass down leadership to family. Samuel did not consult God on this - he just did it! The results were disastorous.
======================================================
Israel desires a king.

God designed this world as a theocracy. Adam was to be God's representative on Earth - God was the ultimate authority. Judges were raised up to deliver people from certain situations - but God was still the ultimate authority.

God provided for Israel whenever they were in fellowship with Him. He provided for all their needs. God was their king - but the people wanted a king "like all the other nations".

This rejection of God as ruler of Israel foreshadows Israel's rejection of Christ.

God knew that they would have a king one day - but Israel's early cry for a king brought them Saul. If they had not cried out for a king - I believe that first king would have been David.
======================================================
Saul

Saul was from central casting - tall and good-looking -but nowhere in the verses today does it say what (if any)kind of relationship Saul had with God.

In fact the only mention of even having anything to do with God was to find the donkeys - nothing about Saul's personal life.

Saul appears humble and modest before Samuel - will that change when Saul is elevated to power??????

John 6

[IMPORTANT VERSES TO ME. Before I was saved as I was reading through this gospel, and I ran across these verses - they struck me. Never had heard anything about these verses growing up - I began to understand.]
======================================================
28Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?"

29Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." NIV

The people ask him what works (plural) they can do.

"Those who questioned Jesus seemed sure that if only Jesus told them what to do, they could please God by their works of God. For these people, as with many people today, salvation is found in the right formula for performing works that will please God."
http://www.enduringword.com/commentaries/4306.htm

Jesus corrects them. Jesus' name means "Jehovah is salvation". Salvation is God's work. In this regard, there are no works (plural) for the people to perform only the work (singular) of God. Believe in the one He sent - believe what He says, believe why He is there, believe IN Him. Have faith!

[Note: Greek in text is erga (works) and ergon (work).]

Having faith does not mean one gets a free ticket to do what one wants - faith leads to a transformation of our lives.

"We become by faith, his brethren, his servants, his soldiers, his subjects, and the children of his Father in heaven. This faith is obviously no merely peripheral interest of one’s life. If you have it, it controls you! Our entire lives, therefore, are redefined, redirected, indeed, recreated, because we believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that he came into the world to save sinners, and that those who trust in him will live forever."
http://www.faithtacoma.org/sermons/John/John20.6.25-40.July9.00.htm

Once you have faith and are saved, then your life changes, so that we can carry out God's works.

Eph 2:10
"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

John 6:37
"Sir," they said, "from now on give us this bread." NIV

Same thing the woman at the well said to Jesus about "living water? How come Jesus did not explicitly reveal himself as He did with the woman.

"But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe."

Because they did not believe - their hearts were not right like Nathaniel and the Samarian woman at the well.
======================================================
"I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty." John 6:35b

"All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away." John 6:37

"...that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day." John 6:39b

"For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life,.." John 6:40a

Notice the absolutes. NEVER,NONE, AND EVERYONE. Had a minister once who did not believe in the "assurance" of Salvation". I showed him these verses, and the discussion was over.

God says it, and He says it in absolutes. Yes, I believe we can NEVER lose our salvation once attained.
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Also, in this chapter Jesus establishes himself as greater than Moses. Keep this in mind for chapters 8 and 10.

One of the first things I thought about is that people today don't even know how to recognize sin in thier personal lives, let alone in society. The attitude and message today is that we are "modern," not "old fashioned." and they don't know sin. Iam hopeful though as I watch the thousands of youth coming to chuch each and every service, running to the alter and standing throught the service at the alter worshiping God, calling out to Him. Every nation that has fallen, has fallen from within. Sin in our nation is a disgrace and a shame. Proverbs 14:34 is right, Godliness does make a nation great, but sin is a disgrace to any people! We are to be watching and waiting for HIs return and be ready to go with Him.

You said it! A true relationship with Christ is the furthest thing from boring! Life is exciting n every day is definitely a new adventure if I live in submission to the Lord. When i give each day to Him, i just never know what to expect! Its neverrrrr boring tho!
Funny, wen i was younger, Christians seemed boring to me. Seemed like you had to dress up, smile and be nice to people all the time, sing songs about God and heaven, and just read the "boring" Bible, and go to church all the time. haha, it wasnt something i desired!
I guess i was looking at religion, I didnt have Christ indwelling me so i just couldnt understand. Now that i am in fact one of those 'boring' adult Christians i used to watch, ha! I love it! FAR from boring, Christ brings "life" to life, abundance in all good things, joy, a change in myself that is not of my own so that in fact I change from the inside, joy in trials, a hope, perseverance, peace inside my soul (THe one thing i wanted most wen i was a hurting teen), and the more i grow in Him, the better it gets! I'm not anxious anymore...I just give it to the Lord and I know He takes care of it! Yes, i pick it up again many times, but God is trying me and teaching me, and i know that i'm going to heaven! and I KNOW truth! I know that i know that i know!!
life in Christ is good!...without Him, i'd be a suicide statistic by now.

"Do you live in a godly nation? Or is there sin bringing disgrace to the people?" ~ I wish I lived in a godly nation. When we have our outside ministry and we go out witnessing, I really get one shock after the other. When we ask people if God has a part in their lives, I get the most divergent views. "I believe in my own way", basicly that means they make up their own rules. Idoltry = sin ... Or I get responses like "No I'm sorry, I'm not interested" ... ehhmm ... you're not interested in me? What's the deal? You know what really hurted me this past week, and I'm really really really upset about this one ... First you need some background information: my mom has 5 sisters and 4 brothers. They were brought up Protestant, just like my parents brought me up. All my aunts & uncles were brought up with the Bible, they pray, they believe Jesus is God's son, they believe in God's wonders. So now I have one uncle, he's sick. He went to church with us a couple of weeks ago. I was hoping he'd accept Jesus as his personal Saviour, but he didn't, so I figured he needed more time. So at the beginning of this week I was talking to my grandmother and she told me that she was talking to that uncle of mine the other day and they were talking about church, God and the Bible and about rebirth, about washing away our sins. You never guess what my uncle said "I don't buy that washing away our sins bogus! I think that's just BS! It's crap and I don't have to be reborn, that's just stupid church-rules". I thought I was hitting my head to the ceiling when I heard this! I asked my grandmother what she said, but she was too shocked to respond to this. I really came THIS close to calling my uncle, but I didn't do it, I was too emotional. Cause HOW can you pray and ask the Lord to heal you if you don't even believe in His Word????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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